Photo: Elaine Jack, Manager for the Sandton Central Management District.
This Thursday, 22 March, is World Water Day and Sandton Central Management District, which manages the public spaces of South Africa’s cosmopolitan financial capital, is putting its weight behind the powerful awareness campaign that reiterates the value of water.
While the water crisis in the Western Cape, in particular, is in the spotlight, it is not alone in facing a water shortage. Drought conditions prevail nationally. Water is a scarce commodity and Johannesburg is still under Level 1 water restrictions. The city’s residents have been urged to use water sparingly.
World Water Day focuses attention on the increasing importance of water. This year’s theme, ‘Water for Nature’, explores the nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face today.
World Water Day falls within National Water Week, the awareness campaign by the Department of Water and Sanitation, which emphasises the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa. This year’s theme is “Water is Life – 20 Years of Water Delivery for Social and Economic Development”.
Elaine Jack, the district manager for Sandton Central Management District, says: “This week not only celebrates World Water Day but also Earth Hour (Saturday, 24 March, from 8.30pm to 9,30pm). Both remind us of the power of individuals to be part of global conversations and solutions for our planet.”
“One of the big environmental issues and causes that should be part of our conversations, regardless of where we are in South Africa, is water conservation and water security,” says Jack. “Today, as accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss threaten the planet, we want to leverage the momentum and energy of World Water Day and the Earth Hour movement to connect people to Earth. Right now, there is no denying that our corner of the earth is extremely thirsty.”
For Sandton Central, and other areas in Johannesburg, Level 1 Water Restrictions means watering of gardens isn’t allowed between 6am and 6pm in summer months (1 Sept to 31 March). Furthermore, no washing of paved areas and driveways with hose pipes is allowed.
Johannesburg Water has also warned that Level 1 water restrictions will be enforced by fines to consumers who contravened the Water Services By-law and consumers are urged to report non-compliance by phoning the JMPD 24/7 hotline on 011 758 9650.
Residents are also urged to continue to report all burst pipes, leaking water meters, open hydrants and to: 011 375 5555/ 011 688 1699, SMS 082 653 2143 on social media Twitter @jhbwater and Facebook : Johannesburg Water or on http://www.johannesburgwater.co.za.
People can also implement the following water saving tips:
• Do not leave taps dripping.
• Wash your car on the grass. This will water your lawn at the same time.
• Use a watering-can instead of a hosepipe.
• Shorten your showering time.
• Use a glass of water to rinse when brushing your teeth.
• Take shallow baths. Avoid filling your bath to a depth greater than 100mm.
• Re-use water to water your garden or pot plants.
Sandton Central is the country’s leading business, shopping, tourism and residential district. It is also the epicentre of green building in Africa, and green buildings support water efficiency. Sandton Central, as home to many of the country’s top businesses that a deeply committed to the environment and South Africa’s brightest minds, is also a hotbed of resource-efficiency innovations in action.
“Water security is a major issue for the sustainability of our community, our businesses and our society, and we commend all Sandtonites who make it a priority. We also urge everyone to increase their efforts to save water,” concludes Jack.